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Animals are dicks

So guys, looks like I’m on a stealing-blog-inspiration BINGE right now. I’ve milked The New York Times dry, so it’s time to move on up to more prestigious material. This inspiration steal comes from the ever witty, critically acclaimed, guaranteed to make you snicker just loudly enough in your cubicle to be embarrassing, Another Damn Life by Lyn.

In her latest post, Lyn recounts a recent camping adventure. Since John and I happened to go camping last weekend, I really felt I could relate to many of her experiences of the slightly oversold joys of camping, especially this little nugget of wisdom:

Animals are dicks.

Yes, animals ARE dicks. And on our camping trip one of them was IN OUR TENT.

Ok, so we invited her in and she happens to live with us, but details, details!

Full disclosure: While these are pictures of us camping, they are not from the camping trip in question. We failed to take any pictures worth sharing. 

It was Cassie’s first camping trip and she did not quite grasp the concept of the tent. Not that I blame her – it IS weird considering we have the option of an actual roof over our heads. We thought she might enjoy getting in touch with her ancestral roots in the great outdoors but turns out she really prefers a queen sized bed with a memory foam topper. She made this painfully clear when, immediately after we zipped up the tent, she jammed herself at the exit so violently that she tore a hole through the mesh big enough for her to fit through.

Did I mention we had just spent nearly six hours driving to our destination? And that upon arrival we had realized we left behind our patented Camping Box of Essentials and that only the presence of our more prepared friends prevented this from being a complete disaster? And that as a result, a certain female member of the household was already none too pleased with a certain male member of the household, and now also wanted to kill the K9 member of the household?

Oh yes, camping… so relaxing. And so few people to hear you kill violently hug your nearest and dearest.

And thus this happy family settled in for a night of barely contained evil looks marital bliss, complete with a leash tied to John’s wrist to keep our spooked-out dog from running outside through the hole in the tent.

Why was she spooked you ask? Well, back to the original premise: ANIMALS ARE DICKS.

The campsite we were at was infested with marmots. In case you’re not familiar, marmots are basically fat squirrels that live in the ground. We learned that they squeak. Especially at night. At high enough frequencies to really freak out a dog.

None of us really slept much that night. We tossed and turned, grabbed at Cassie when she tried to escape the tent, and looked at each other in fearful confusion when the chorus of marmots outside reached an alarming decibel at about 3 am. (It may have been a sacrifice of some kind, it’s better we don’t know the details.) I believe it was about 4:30 am when the marmot squeaks were finally overtaken by the birds on a mad, ultraviolet cocaine binge.

When I crawled out of the already-too-hot tent the next morning at 7 am, having slept approximately 45 minutes, and walked to the outdoor tap to splash cold water on my hideously puffed-up face, I looked over at the lake next to us bathed in beautiful morning light and thought, fuck I love camping.



Cassie got the hang of camping the next night and slept peacefully. We patched the hole in the tent entry with duct tape. The marmots continued to be fat.



As you know, on occasion I enjoy airing out my random thoughts about the world here at my humble little blog – something about seeing them in print makes them seem valid and true. It’s wonderful! But clearly I’m fooling myself a little bit here. I mean WordPress just gave me this blog for free that one night I was high on decongestants and posts whatever gobbledy goop I care to put on it without question.

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Wifi networks are a serious health hazard.


Buying Facebook shares at their IPO was a smart move.

See? Anything at all.

But you know who doesn’t let you just post any old random thought that pops into your head? The New York Times, that’s who.

Oh god, I just realized this lead-up might sound like I published something in the New York Times. (And that’s why you’re looking so confused!) No, no, no, no. Like I said, they are a more discerning written platform. No, just take this lead-up for what it clearly is – padding for a simple post in hopes of distracting you from the fact that my posting frequency and intelligence level have dropped to nearly undetectable levels lately.

On to my point. Grey & shiny may be a simple blog for simple thoughts, but apparently the New York Times is on the same page as me with their recent debate on When Do Kids Become Adults?

Let me quote from the intro:

Many of these high school students have been driving since they were 16, and those who have turned 18 are no longer minors: they can vote, join the military and marry their sweethearts. But they can’t buy a beer.

Sound familiar? Yeah, I said pretty much the exact same thing a few weeks ago. I’m pretty sure  that means I scooped the New York Times. (I suppose they took the time to consult with experts or whatever.)

My favourite of the various expert responses came from Laurence Steinberg, an adolescent brain researcher, talking about how various age restrictions came to be:

science has never had much of an influence on these sorts of decisions. If it did, we wouldn’t have ended up with a society that permits teenagers to drive before they can see R-rated movies on their own, or go to war before they can buy beer. Surely the maturity required to operate a car or face combat exceeds that required to handle sexy movies or drinking. Age boundaries are drawn for mainly political reasons, not scientific ones. It’s unlikely that brain science will have much of an impact on these thresholds, no matter what the science says.

Yes, science so rarely has anything to do with politically charged decisions. So few people will admit to that though.

So what have I been doing since I clearly haven’t been spending my time writing anything of interest? Nothing much to be honest. I’ve simply lacked the will to dissect my thoughts enough to put them into words. Part of the problem is that it is May and I have just been reminded that the sun exists; I’ve become too baffled by the bright light and warm sensation on my skin to do anything but let my eyes glaze over the world in wonderment and let it soak over me. So that’s what I’ve been doing, a lot.

What have you been up to? Write any padded-up blog posts lately in hopes of keeping your handful of readers semi-interested? Felt oddly validated by people at the New York Times with fancy titles after their names agreeing with you?


Last night, after a long day of doing chores* around the house and preparing for an intimidating meeting I had at work this morning, I decided to end my day with a nice hot shower. We’ve recently been watching The Walking Dead (Lost but with a zombie apocalypse instead of a plane crash) and it glamorizes the hot shower so much that I have gained a renewed appreciation of late.

I went to grab my fresh-out-of-the-dryer towel from the hook behind our bedroom door, expecting to sink my hands into soft, fresh cottony warmth. Instead I meet vaguely damp coldness. Ugh. This is not the stuff of laundry detergent commercials. Where is my kitteny-soft hug? Towels dry slowly here on the eternally damp West Coast so I’m not unaccustomed to this icky finding, but dammit, today I did laundry and I should be hugged in squeaky-dry cotton right now!

I turn on my heel to face my primary suspect, who is sprawled out on the unmade bed. “Did you use my towel??”

John looks at me, all freshly shaved** innocence. “No! Well maybe.“

“What do you mean ‘maybe’? Did you use it or not?”

“Well I used A towel.”

“Why would you use mine when yours is right here?” I say, gesturing toward the other white towel hanging on the hooks, still immaculate and virgin.

He shrugs.

I wonder about the side effects of the muscle relaxants he took earlier.

And then a sliver of light appears under the solid door of marital incomprehension: “You DO realize we have designated towels right? That this one hanging over my robe is MY towel and the one hanging over your robe is YOUR towel?”


“I have a robe?”

For the briefest moment I sincerely doubted the foundations of our household and indeed, the very existence of possessions. Only the slightest glint in his eye told me that last part was a joke, but the sheepish look gave away the fact that he had not actually realized until this moment that the towels were supposed to have their own designated users. Unbeknownst to me, all this time I had been living in a free-lovin’, loose-moralled, anything-goes, towel orgy.***

All right then. As long as we’re on the same page.

*In which chores also include Titanic 3D and a hockey game.
**His play-off beard barely had a chance to take root before it was shaved off this year. I guess there really is a silver lining to everything.
***Do your worst Google. 
(Image source.)